The 2002tii is considered by many to be the most desirable ‘02 produced by BMW and imported to the United States. Compared to a standard 2002, a tii offers greater performance and overall value. Thus, a 2002tii is usually worth more, and therefore, more highly touted.
Since the last U.S. tii’s were made in 1974, finding one in good shape without owner modifications has grown increasingly difficult. This is especially true considering the tii’s mechanical uniqueness and the cost of replacement parts. Furthermore, since the 2002 is a “tinkerer’s car,” many owners have upgraded their regular 2002s with tii hardware to increase performance.
Likewise, tii owners sometimes strip their cars of original tii items, such as the Kugelfischer mechanical fuel injection system in favor of cheaper (but not necessarily better) carburetors. These factors can cause some confusion for a prospective tii buyer.
- Engine: 4 Cylinder
- Valve linkage: SOHC, 2 valve/cylinder
- Displacement: 1990 cm³
- Power: 130 hp (97 kW) at 5800 rpm
- Torque: 130 ft·lbf (176 N·m) at 4500 rpm
- Gearbox: 4 speed manual
- Top speed: 118 mph (190 km/h)
- 0-60 mph: 9.8 s
- Weight: 1010 kg (2225 lbs)
- Length / Width / Height: 4216 mm (166 in) / 1626 mm (64 in) / 1410 mm (55.5 in)
- Wheelbase / Track (front/rear): 2497 mm (98.3 in) / 1372 mm (54 in) / 1372 mm (54 in)
Identifying a 2002tii
The tii model has the following differences over a regular BMW 2002:
- 1972-1973 US 2002tii VINs begin with 276
- 1974 US 2002tii VINs begin with 278
- Kugelfischer mechanical fuel injection
- Alternator mounted down low, under battery
- Oil return line in block for injection pump, feed line in oil filter head
- Larger brake booster
- 23 mm master cylinder
- 17.46 mm (11/16”) diameter (rear) wheel cylinders
- Larger 10.08 in (256 mm) diameter front brakes, larger calipers/pads
- Larger front hubs and spindles
- Boxed rear semi-trailing arms
- Larger diameter exhaust manifold
- Interior clock
- “2002tii” emblem on rear body panel
The vehicle identification number is found on the metal plate under the hood, on top of the inner fender, behind the upper shock mount on the right side. It is in plain view, and should be easy to spot. On this plate, it will identify the car as a 2002tii for 1972-73 cars. 1974 cars share the same identification plate as the standard 2002, so the plate will read 2002/2002tii USA. The VIN is the long number which is stamped into that plate.
For 1972-1973 U.S. tiis, the VIN will begin with 276, running from 2760001 (the first ‘72) to 2764522 (the last ‘73). 1974 tii’s begin with 278, running from 2780001 to 2782929. This number should match the number stamped into the flange on the right front wheel housing itself, next to the fender, behind the hood lock bar, as well as the number stamped into the metal plate on top of the steering column. If the car still has its original engine block, the engine number on the block, above the starter mounting flange, will match the VIN.
The Kugelfischer injection system is the tii’s distinctive feature, and along with the higher compression ratio the Kugelfischer gives it a combination of midrange torque and top end power. The lower front aluminum engine timing cover and alternator mounting location are different from a normal 2002, as well. tii’s also have an extra fitting on the intake side of the engine block for an injection pump oil return line as well as an extra fitting on the oil filter head for the injection pump oil feed line. Look for a complete, intact fuel injection system when identifying an original tii.
An original E12 2002tii cylinder head (late ‘72-‘74 model year) has no fuel pump mounting holes on it for a standard 2002 mechanical fuel pump. 121/121TI head equipped ‘72 tiis have standard mounting holes, but the center pushrod hole is plugged. The fuel pump mounting holes are used to mount the intake plenum on ‘72 cars.
Under the hood, the tii has a larger diameter (23 mm vs. 20 mm) master cylinder, and a longer brake booster; look for the larger master cylinder when verifying that the car is the tii model. This larger booster is 6 inches (152 mm) long and 7 inches (178 mm) in diameter.
The tii has larger front brake discs, which measure 10.08 inches (256 mm) in diameter vs. 9.45 in (240 mm) for the standard 2002. These are accompanied by larger calipers and pads, as well as larger hubs and spindles. The rear drums are the same size as a normal 2002, but the wheel cylinders are larger (17 mm vs. 15 mm). In the rear, the trailing arms of tii are boxed, for increased stiffness (instead of the standard C-section).
On Tii’s there is a dashboard clock. It is outside and just right of the gauge cluster.
Trunk Lid emblem & Badge
On the rear panel of the 72’ and 73’ tii’s the 2002tii emblem is just left of the right taillight. On the 74’ tii’s the emblem is above the right tail light.
On the original ‘72-‘73 tii’s the steel wheels are 1/2 in (13 mm) wider, and all of this width is added onto the outside of the wheel, resulting in wheel covers that appear to be set in further.
Photos courtesy of 4starclassics.com